I received this mail from a student sent to the director here in IIT-roorkie and many more Presidents around the world.
I agree with you that swine flu awareness is needed, but there is no need to be panicky and join the publicity propaganda carried out by media and others which acts as a vehicle to spread misconception than to spread scientific information.
1) Swine flu, that is H1N1 flu is not new, first detected in 1987
2) Infective stage of flue is 5 days, 1 day before and 4 days after onset of symptoms
3) The best way to prevent it spreading is asking patient having symptoms of flu like fever cough and running nose to take rest at home for 4 days so he does not transmit it
4) Masks are of limited value if any, in this disease, it can spread through droplets on your skin, through contact etc, and I have seen that the masks in Pune are worn as fashion statement, while walking on road today morning I saw people wearing masks coming out for a morning walk with their dogs!, many wearing masks around their necks, and so on, infact these masks shall act as the vehicles to carry the virus, instead, avoiding crowded places or cinema halls or malls where airconditioners are on, is advisable, because you get recirculated air, where the virus density multiplies
5)Death after H1N1 flu is not common, infact infections like measles is taking toll of thousands more every year, and we are oblivious of the facts. Swine flu is being blown out of proportion by media trying to create hysteria among lay people.
6) Fever accompanied by respiratory distress, should be immediately notified which is likely to be a complication of H1N1 flu
7)The mortality is less than .01 percent of those affected, that means may be one in 10,000 affected is likely to suffer the life loss.
8) If you remember, 2 years ago SARS was blown out of proportion, what happened? Humans develop immunity to the virus, the same is going to happen, we develop immunity in due course of time, the virus is in the air, you can not stop it, our body is already developing the immunity so nothing to panic.
We need to take care of children and elderly who have less immunity and do not let them go to crowded places that is all .
WE MUST START THIS CAMPAIGN OF NOT TO BE AFRAID OF THIS FLU AND LET YOUR DAILY WORK CONTINUE AS NORMAL, NO MASKS FOR ORDINARY CITIZENS, HEALTH CARE WORKERS OR SPECIFIC EXPOSED TO LOT OF CROWDED ENVIRONMENTS MAY BE BENEFITTED, NOT PROVEN.
I am amazed to hear that people are selling masks of RS 20 each which are available to less than Rupee 1 in the market.
See who is getting benefitted?
Please spread the scientific info, do not join the band wagon and stick to science, that should be the order of the day.